How to Spend the Night at in 10 easy steps!
Speak no French. This way, you won't be able to understand the entry guard when he says the grounds will be locked in 15 minutes. How could that be true anyway?
Become overawed by the excess. Forget about logistical real life concerns (i.e. closing times) by imagining how many craftsmen were employed for the gilt scrollwork alone.
Could you even learn all the painters' names?
Did the sculptors / painters / carpenters ever argue? Was anyone made jealous by the size of the other's horse?
Don't worry about why you're the only one enjoying any of this.
This won't be a problem.
It's helpful to have seen Last Year At Marienbad recently.
Extremely helpful. (Although some points can be given for Sofia Coppola's work as well.)
Walk as deep as you can into the grounds. Ignore all signs.
Have an interest in the Queen's sheep.
Have an interest in the Hameau de la Reine.
A bespoke village where she could pretend not to be the queen?
This is easily where you'll spend 40 minutes.
It has its own vineyard.
You can even imagine YOU'RE the farmer.
Maybe this is YOUR vineyard.
And this is your house.
And when the queen comes down the canal in her barge, maybe you wave at her. Offer her some sheep's cheese.
Do you see how this could take a while?
If you see a hedge maze, enter it.
I mean really enter it.
The sun should be setting by now.
You're doing great.
Now head for the Trianon. (Another fantastic time suck.)
You will be tempted here to check the timetables for the last train back to Paris. Don't.
Think about these tortured trees in rigid alleès for over 200 years. Think about how many of them wanted something more for themselves -- maybe a smooth S-curve, or a simple arc!
It doesn't matter what you distract yourself with -- they've already locked the gates.
Don't be afraid of the dark.
The dark is actually going to protect you from the ghosts of the proletariat who may want your head. Or at least some cake.
You're alone in 2,014 acres.
I literally lost feeling in every extremity before morning.
The McDonalds in town has hot coffee by 0630.